Consumer law firms are increasingly challenged by paid search for three very valid reasons:
- Keywords relating to the law are very expensive.
- Competition for law-related keywords is intense.
- Hitting your target market can be hit or miss if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Getting the greatest possible return from your paid search marketing spend is essential for law firms that must continually compete online for prospective clients. To help your law firm level the playing field for paid search, consider the following tips for maximizing your digital advertising budget:
Differentiate your law firm.
It can be a challenge to stand out online among all your competitors, but it can be done. First, you need to look at the competitive landscape by searching for your keywords to see what ads pop up. Examine your competitor’s paid search ads to see how you can make yours better by:
- Spotlighting what makes you better. Highlight your differentiating factors — i.e., services that make you easier to do business with (24-hour service, online bill pay, client portal for case management, etc.), community involvement, or stellar client testimonials.
- Including a call-to-action. Encourage searchers to take immediate action.
- Implementing all ad extensions. Ad extensions like location, website link, reviews, and call buttons help you grab more real estate on search engine results pages.
Set up your geo-targeting correctly.
When you are spending a lot of money on paid search, you want to lock down your geographic market area so you don’t waste any of it. Most clients will not travel more than a few miles unless they need to, so be realistic about your market area. While you may want to serve clients anywhere in your state, you will probably only draw from a 10-mile radius of your location unless you practice in a highly specialized area of the law. If you have multiple locations, you should create separate campaigns for each office so you can target accurately.
Be sure your ads speak to a searcher’s intent.
Think like Google and deliver content that speaks directly to a searcher’s intent. While many consumers search for legal services online, they search with different intent — some are just starting out on their search and may type in something like, “what does a divorce attorney cost?” Some may need an attorney right away and may type in something like, “car accident lawyer near me.” You need to have PPC ads that speak to the intent of both types of searches.
Prioritize calls over clicks.
More searches are conducted on a mobile phone than a desktop or laptop computer, and when you’re spending big bucks for paid search, you want calls more than clicks so you can establish a connection as soon as possible. You can achieve this by running call-only PPC ads, which puts your phone number as the headline and includes a call button that people only need to tap on to connect with you. If you are currently running PPC ads, add a call extension to your existing ads. You can also try just advertising on mobile. Just be sure you have an answering service in place 24/7 to capture all calls.
Feature video on your PPC ad landing pages.
Video is a great way to establish trust with prospects right off the bat and should be a key feature of your PPC ad landing pages. Video testimonials from clients also work well in this space to help dispel any skepticism.
Have an online chat feature on your landing pages and website.
To capture leads from consumers who prefer to contact your law firm via text or instant message rather than call, be sure your PPC ad landing pages and your website have an online chat feature. This allows prospects to ask case-related questions and allows you to pre-qualify them quickly.
Probably one of the most difficult things attorneys grapple with is finding the best way to differentiate their law firm (tip #1 above). We teach attorneys all about differentiation at our Rainmaker Retreat lawyer marketing boot camp. Check out our upcoming sessions and save 30% by booking early!